How to Train for a Sprint Triathlon

How to Train for a Sprint Triathlon
A sprint triathlon is the shortest of the triathlon competitions. A sprint tri typically consists of a 750 meter swim portion, 20 km bike portion and 5k run portion. Training for a sprint triathlon requires a fair amount of time, but it is one of the best ways to break into the sport.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Road bicycle Bicycling gear Running gear Swimming gear Wetsuit (optional)
  • Road bicycle
  • Bicycling gear
  • Running gear
  • Swimming gear
  • Wetsuit (optional)
Step 1
Assess your physical abilities. Is there one sport in which you excel but another in which you are weak? Determining your strengths and weaknesses will help focus your training.
Step 2
Make a workout schedule. The key to training for a multifaceted athletic event such as a sprint triathlon is to follow a schedule as strictly as possible. Beginners typically follow an eight- to 16-week training schedule, depending on starting level of fitness. Those who have already competed in a triathlon may opt to follow a shorter training schedule.
Step 3
Typically, a week's training should include a strength-training workout, a run workout, a swim workout, a bike workout and a brick workout combining a swim-run workout or a swim-bike workout. These back-to-back workouts are referred to as "bricks" and will help prepare your body to transition between events. One day a week should be devoted to rest, which will aid in your body's recovery.
Step 4
As the weeks progress toward your sprint triathlon event, the time length (or mileage) of your workouts should increase as well. Depending on your fitness starting point, workouts during your first week may range from just 15 to 30 minutes in length. By the middle of your training schedule, your workouts should be double that length of time.
Step 5
Around a week before your sprint triathlon event, your mileage (or workout time) should decrease. This process is called the taper. Ideally, you should have at least two days of rest prior to your event. Tapering your activity level helps prevent injuries and allows you to focus on your mental preparation.

Tips & Warnings

If your sprint triathlon includes an open-water swim, if possible, do your swim workouts in that body of water or one with similar conditions. Swimming in open-water can be quite a different experience than swimming laps in a temperature-regulated pool.

Article Written By Susan Berg

Based in northern Wisconsin, Susan Berg has more than 10 years of experience as a writer and editor. Her work has been published in both print and online media, including the "Dayton Daily News" and BioZine. Berg earned a Master of Arts in journalism from Indiana University.

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